ELDEX enables global suppliers of eldercare products, technology and services to meet with targeted Asia Pacific distributors, retailers, buyers such as hospitals, retirement homes and hospices, and end-users. ELDEX provides a holistic ecosystem for a marketplace by building continuing education platforms, and curating workshops, product demonstrations and seminars to drive greater awareness and brand equity. ELDEX further aims to catalyze industry growth by bringing start-ups in the eldercare space to interact with and pitch to potential investors, particularly where gerontechnology is concerned.
The silver market in Singapore, Southeast Asia and rest of Asia Pacific
Rapidly aging population
The Asia Pacific (APAC) is the fastest aging region globally with more than 200 million people expected to move into the ranks of the elderly (aged 65 years and above) between now and 2030. It already has some of the oldest "ultra-aged" societies e.g., Japan. Many more are poised to join Japan's ranks including Australia, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore with improved life expectancies and falling birth rates. The speed at which APAC societies are aging poses an unprecedented challenge. Singapore's elderly demographic segment will rise from 11 to 20% in the next 15 years. It took France 49 years to do the same. The United Nations has projected that Thailand's working-age population (aged between 15 and 64) as having peaked last year. Its data showed that 8.9% of the population was aged 65 and more in 2010. This is projected to increase to 19% in 2030. By 2040, 25% of Thailand's population could be over the age of 65.
Sizable purchasing power and greater need for healthcare for non-communicable diseases
Singapore's silver market is expected to hit US$11.7 billion by 2030. Just healthcare costs alone have been estimated to exceed US$20 trillion on a cumulative basis from 2015 to 2030 for the APAC region. Eldercare is expected to surpass real estate as China's largest industry within 13-15 years, and is estimated to be worth US$263 billion by 2020 and US$1.1 trillion by 2050.
Greater involvement of technology
With the growing presence of data and adoption of artificial intelligence, technology invariably plays a part in converging technical systems and solutions to enable the elderly and/or their caregivers continue to undertake daily fundamental functions. Gerontechnology (a mix of "gerontology" and "technology") enable the elderly community to maintain their autonomy or to compensate for any functional impairments.
Growing number of eldercare facilities
According to figures released by Singapore's Ministry of Health, there will be a cumulative 40,000 nursing homes, home care and community care places by 2020. The numbers may prove insufficient given that there will be more than 60,000 people aged over 65 by then. In China, the number of beds as a percentage of elderly in China was 4.7% by the end of 2015 compared to 5.0% in Japan and 5.9% in the US. This is a gap that needs to be breached even though China is like Japan 30 years ago. Statistics show that an additional 3.4 million nursing homes will needed up to 2021 to keep pace with growing demand.
Increasing financial pressures impacting policies
Other APAC economies look set to emulate one of Singapore's policies to provide some relief for future financial planning purposes. CareShield Life is a national long-term care insurance that will be launched in 2020. The insurance provides financial aid to those afflicted with severe disabilities and will provide for cases with pre-existing conditions.